I Pass for Human

Vampirism-as-metaphor-for heroin-addiction has been done before, most memorably in Larry Fessenden's '97 "Habit." "I Pass for Human" is a worthy if modest take on the same theme, as written/directed by L.A. punk figurehead turned American Cinematheque curator/author Chris D, who is a former junkie -- which lends this vid-shot, quasi-horror pic validity if not much narrative drive.

With:
With: Eleanor Whitledge, Josh Coxx, Eva Scott, Jennifer Ciesar, E. Shepherd Stevenson, Mary Woronov, John Diehl, Bryan Small, Texas Terri Laird, Iris Berry.

Vampirism-as-metaphor-for heroin-addiction has been done before, most memorably in Larry Fessenden’s excellent ’97 “Habit.” “I Pass for Human” is a worthy if modest take on the same theme, as written/directed by longtime L.A. punk figurehead turned American Cinematheque curator/author Chris D, who is, not incidentally, a former junkie — which lends this vid-shot, quasi-horror pic validity if not much narrative drive. Pic badly needs editorial tightening-up before it’s ready for home-format, let alone theatrical, exposure.

When her boyfriend and fellow band member Dax (Bryan Small) O.D.’s, Jane (Eleanor Whitledge) finds it hard to resist the habit herself — everybody she knows is either a user or a casualty. She finds a kindred spirit in Rick (Josh Coxx), who similarly just lost his g.f. But rather than strengthening each other, Jane and Rick drift into addiction together. Eventually she’s alone again, haunted and harangued by dead friends who exist in some junkie-vampire limbo between life and death. Pic catches tunnel vision of the drug’s grip, but there’s too much repetitious footage of panicked Jane running around, with few macabre highlights and curiously scant exploitation of the surrounding music scene. Tech aspects are adequate.

I Pass for Human

Production: A Poison Fang production. Produced by Lynne Margulies. Executive producer, Richard Foos. Directed, written by Chris D.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Brian O'Connell; editor, Lynne Margulies; music, Danny Carey, E. Shepherd Stevenson; production designer, Quito Cooksey. Reviewed at San Francisco Horror Festival, March 21, 2004. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With: Eleanor Whitledge, Josh Coxx, Eva Scott, Jennifer Ciesar, E. Shepherd Stevenson, Mary Woronov, John Diehl, Bryan Small, Texas Terri Laird, Iris Berry.

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